No place like home

3431 Wheat Street, shortly after landscaping in 2002.
3431 Wheat Street, shortly after landscaping in 2002.

Buren Martin and I took his cargo van to Columbia today intending to transfer all my woodworking equipment from the little shop behind the Wheat Street house to the theater he’s building in Inman. But it was a rainy day and we realized pretty quickly that a second trip would be necessary, so we grabbed only the things that were easy to grab and left.

In February, the next time both our schedules will permit, we’ll return with a trailer in tow, the object being to clean out the building entirely.

Driving into Columbia on Elmwood Avenue, I noticed both how familiar the city is to me and how it no longer feels like home. Not at all. And I’ve been thinking about that. The two places I’ve lived most of my life – Sumter and Columbia, totaling 45 years – are no more nostalgically charged for me than my last meal … which was a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee, by the way … quite tasty.

In advertising, the word “sticky” is used to describe copy and images that aren’t easily forgotten. The places I’ve lived lack such stickiness. And since Greenville has yet to become a home “where the heart is,” I have no place like home at the moment. But no matter. Life, as I’ve been saying frequently of late, is good. Maybe my concept of home has broadened. Or maybe it’s receded to the point that it really is a thing locked up inside wherever my chest cavity happens to be at the moment.